Even

The following is a mini-tutorial on the various uses of the word "even." After you have studied the tutorial, complete the associated exercises. If you already know how to use "even," you can skip the explanation and go directly to the exercises.

USE

When a strong statement is made, the statement is often followed with an example containing "even." The word "even" adds shock, surprise, or excitement to the example.

Examples:

  • He loses everything. He even lost his own wedding ring!
  • John has amnesia, and he can't remember anything about the past. He can't even remember his own name!
  • He could become anything. He could even become President of the United States!
  • I love that author, and I have all of his books - even the ones which are out of print.

Even Though / Even When / Even If

USE

"Even" can be combined with the words "though," "when" and "if." It emphasizes that a result is unexpected. Study the following examples and explanations to learn how these expressions differ.

Examples:

  • Even though Bob studied very hard, he still failed his French tests.
    Bob always studied hard. But, unfortunately, he failed the tests.
  • Even when Bob studied very hard, he still failed his French tests.
    Bob occassionally studied hard, but it didn't really make a difference. Every time he studied, he still failed.
  • Even if Bob studied very hard, he still failed his French tests.
    Bob didn't normally study very hard. But in the rare situation when he did try to study hard, he still failed the test.
  • Jerry is never happy. Even though you do everything his way, he is still dissatisfied.
    You do everything his way, but he is still dissatisfied.
  • Jerry is never happy. Even when you do everything his way, he is still dissatisfied.
    You sometimes try doing things his way, but he is still dissatisfied.
  • Jerry is never happy. Even if you do everything his way, he is still dissatisfied.
    You have tried doing things his way once or twice , but it makes no difference because he is still dissatisfied.

IMPORTANT

These expressions are not always interchangeable; the context of the sentence will affect your choice:

  • "Even though" is used when something is always done or a fact is mentioned.
  • "Even when" is used when something is occasionally done.
  • "Even if" is used when something is rarely done or just imagined.

Examples:

  • Even though the interview went terribly yesterday, Cheryl got the job. Correct
    The interview went terribly, but she got the job.
  • Even when the interview went terribly yesterday, Cheryl got the job. Not Correct
    This sentence is incorrect because the interview did not go terribly more than one time. There was only one interview so "when" is not the right word for this sentence.
  • Even if the interview went terribly yesterday, Cheryl got the job. Correct
    You have not talked to Cheryl since her interview. You imagine that the interview went terribly, but you think she probably got the job anyway.
  • Even though he wins the lottery jackpot, he won't have enough money to pay off his debt. Not Correct
    This sentence would suggest that he always wins the lottery.
  • Even when he wins the lottery jackpot, he won't have enough money to pay off his debt. Not Correct
    This sentence would suggest that he sometimes wins the lottery jackpot.
  • Even if he wins the lottery jackpot, he won't have enough money to pay off his debt. Correct
    There is a chance in a million that he might win the lottery jackpot, but it wouldn't make any difference because he still wouldn't have enough money to pay off his debt.

REMEMBER

The meaning and context of the sentence is very important when deciding whether to use "even though," "even when" or "even if."

Even So

USE

"Even so" is very much like the word "but" or "however." "Even so" is different in that it is used with surprising or unexpected results.

Examples:

  • She is loud and unfriendly. Even so, I like her.
    She is loud and unfriendly, so it is unexpected that I like her.
  • The bed is extremely large and heavy. Even so, Jim managed to carry it into the house by himself.
    It is unexpected that Jim could carry the bed by himself.
  • Jane was sick for a couple days in Los Angeles. Even so, she said her trip to the United States was great.
    If she was sick, it is unexpected that she enjoyed her trip.

EXERCISES AND RELATED TOPICS:

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